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    Ashton Canal

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  1. billh

    Should Magnet Fishermen be licensed

    Fifty or so years ago , working in and on the Ashton and Rochdale Canals, all the live ordnance we discovered was of British origin. Anti-aircraft shells, .303 bullets, hand grenades and a couple of clip-on tail fins for 250 pound bombs. Two hand grenades, found in central Manchester required, according to Bomb Disposal, a controlled explosion. This in the run up to Christmas needed temporary closure of Princess St and Whitworth St on a Saturday afternoon. I had noticed the safety pins on these grenades had rusted away and the levers(?) were held in place by muck and rust. A few years later we fished a German Luger pistol from the canal, we were dragging rubbish into a boat and it landed on the floor. There was great consternation at the local cop shop as we handed it to the PC on the front desk: "We just found this".....
  2. billh

    email notifications

    Hi Richm, still apparent, nothing changed that I can see. Bill
  3. billh

    Ruston 3yc bucryus head gasket

    It will be a Ruston-*Hornsby* 3YC, fitted in many, but not all, Ruston Bucyrus 10RB crane/excavators built after about 1955. The 10RB was discontinued in the late 1960's so all engines are a bit long in the tooth and new spares are a bit difficult. The suppliers quoted above will be more likely catering for spares for the bigger RBs which continued to be built until quite recently. The 3YC is a cracking engine but lacks any brass and copper bling so beloved by vintage boat engine enthusiasts. I hope you get it sorted.
  4. billh

    email notifications

    Thanks for that. Is it a co-incidence that the problem started at the same time as the forum server change? How do I get my ISP to accept forum emails? . I have changed some settings in the browser about notifications from websites, I'll see if that works.
  5. billh

    email notifications

    No, before two weeks ago, I received email notifications even when I wasn't signed in to the forum, this very handy feature had worked for about 12months prior to the server changeover. Now it doesn't, even for this topic. I'm not that bothered just wondered what changed?
  6. Since the change of forum servers about two weeks ago, I have received no email notifications of members replies to the topics I have contributed to. Anyone had the same problem and what is the reason? Do I need to change something in my profile? "Notify me of replies" switch is checked as below...... Thanks Bill
  7. billh

    Dirty Salford Quays

    Horseboat Maria was built in 1854 at Jinks' boatyard, Top Lock, Marple for the MS&L Railway. She was one of twenty boats used by the Company to carry railway ballast from Bugsworth to the Prince's dock at Guide Bridge. This traffic finished when a direct railway route was built from the quarries in the Peak District to the later GCR mainline. Most of these boats passed to the canal maintenance department of the GCR and then LNER. Maria survived in this role into British Waterways ownership and was later rebuilt in 1977/8. She is now in MS&L colours( which are best guessed at) , being grey and buff with little external decoration. The MS & L R and successors owned the Ashton, Peak Forest, Macclesfield and Chesterfield Canals from 1846 and did quite well to maintain those canals, it being a legal requirement to do so. It wasn't until after Nationalisation that the rot set in and British Waterways let three of those waterways fall into disrepair through neglect. With regard to the rubbish in Salford Quays, it is important to note that a lot of it is trees, branches and other vegetation , much of it arriving there from the River Irwell especially when in flood. It can be carried downstream from as far away as Bury. At one time, the M.S.C. had a grab excavator permanently installed at the Mode Wheel Locks sluices , the first downstream "obstruction", clearing this debris on a daily basis. Bill
  8. billh

    Prop size for 2DM?

    Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments. Sarson's original RN listing defines the prop size for the 2DM with 2:1 reduction as 24x21, which is exactly what we have now. A full circle then. I guess we can live with the lacklustre performance for a while yet and put the money saved into the oak tree fund. Cheers. Bill
  9. billh

    Sunken sweethearts.

    For the sake of clarity, I was NOT referring to the fine inn across the cut at Alvecote as "the last chance saloon". 😃 The boat that Pete correctly identifies is in a fragile, parlous state but was floating ok earlier in the year.The biggest problem is moving it to somewhere to work on , craning out/move by road/ moving through locks to anywhere in one piece is fraught with difficulty.
  10. billh

    Sunken sweethearts.

    There's a wooden motor at Alvecote that came from Billinge Green , recovered in the 80's. She's looking for a sympathetic owner, having reached the last chance saloon.
  11. billh


    I have just got 2 emails from CRT. One says my information has been distributed, the other that it hasn't. I expect it's because I have 2 boats for licensing. For those people that have received my details in error, could you please delete that information at your earliest convenience? Thank you.😟
  12. billh

    Starter motor ring gear

    That video is at the Anson Museum in Stockport. They have loads of National's , mostly in running order.They may well be able to help with information on unconventional starter systems. The belted starter system WILL work if you can get a big enough dynamo (see my post 10 re NB Fern) and get the pulley ratios right. It's worth remembering that English Electric diesel locos from the 1950's, 2000HP on 16 cylinders were/are started by motoring the generator ( a Dynamo) from the battery, admittedly 110volt, not 12:
  13. billh

    River Weaver

    In its latest incarnation, the tanks work independently. The lifting is all by hydraulic cylinders powered by electric pumps. There used to be a portable pump stationed by the lift bottom,if necessary to balance the water levels between the tanks and the River but I guess that would be deemed too complex or unsafe to operate now. I gather it is impossible to open the gates if there is more than an inch or two difference between the two- computer says"No"
  14. Hi and welcome. Is it an Ailsa Craig RF1 diesel? RFs in 2 and 4cylinder versions are still about, not many in working order though. Aisle Craig Diesels have not been made since 1960 . There is/was a website run by somebody related to the firm's owners, you may find info there. As you can expect for engines that have not been built for nearly 60 years, spares are thin on the ground, or anywhere else for that matter. A lot of pairs of RFR4s were installed in Harbour Defence Launches and similar in WW2, they did not have a great reputation for reliability, owing to poor quality of wartime cast iron. I have personal experience of a 1943 built RF2 blowing its cylinder head off complete with the top of the block and tops of the liners- not a pretty sight. Bill
  15. billh


    The time has certainly gone. I therefore find it truly remarkable that,on occasion, we can still see a Stanier 5MT (sometimes two) with maroon coaches passing our moorings near Manchester on its journey to far off places like Huddersfield, Holyhead or Carlisle. Respect to all those folk who keep those trains running for our delight.🙂

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